Charleston Southern's Zack Hagaman hit two home runs and had seven RBIs to lead the Buccaneers to a doubleheader sweep of visiting UNC Asheville on Saturday in Big South play. The Bucs took the opener at CSU Ballpark, 11-7, and then rolled to an 8-1 win in the nightcap.
CSU improves to 11-16 overall and 3-3 Big South play, while Asheville falls to 8-20 and 1-8 in league play.
Charleston Southern scored three runs in the first inning of the opener and four runs in its first at-bat of the second game and never trailed on the day.
CSU seemed to play inspired baseball after a frustrating last two weeks, but the Bucs clearly looked motivated against the Bulldogs, coming up with their first Big South sweep since the 2011 season.
Bucs' head coach Stuart Lake gave some credit to a fellow-CSU head coach to get his Bucs focused this weekend.
"Barclay Radebaugh came out and gave us a speech on Thursday to get us going into Easter weekend, and I thought our guys responded," Lake said following the win. "They came out and did what we've been asking them to do - get on the board early- that was the key."
Hagaman was a big reason the Bucs scored early – and often – all weekend. He came through with a two-run double in the first in inning of Game 1 and followed with a three-run double in Game 2 to deliver two of the bigger blows of the weekend. He finished the weekend with three home runs, three doubles, and nine RBIs.
"I haven't even had a chance to look at his numbers for the weekend," Lake said of Hagaman. "Every time we had a chance to get a big hit, he was at the plate, and got it. He was incredible (this weekend)."
The main beneficiaries of the Bucs' fast starts were their starting pitchers. CSU's starters, Tory Schroff and Kevin Buran combined for 12 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work, walking only two batters.
Buran picked up the win in the second game, his first of the season. He struck out six and scattered five hits in eight innings of work.
"I was so excited for him," Lake said. "We came out and got the runs early, and it let him establish a strike zone and be effective. He didn't want to come out (of the game), but his pitch count got kind of high and we also wanted to get Weekley some work."
Game 1 – Charleston Southern 11, Asheville 7 Charleston Southern's Zack Hagaman homered twice and added two doubles as the Bucs piled up 15 hits in an 11-7 win in Game 1.
Hagaman hit a two-run home run in the fourth and added solo shot in the sixth to lead CSU's explosive offense. He also had a two-run double in the bottom of the first as CSU raced to an early lead.
The Bucs scored nine runs over the course of the first four innings to break the game open early. CSU, which had been struggling to score early in games, piled up 19 runs in the first four innings of its three wins on the weekend.
Bucs' starter Tory Schroff (WP, 4-1) pitched as thought he had a comfortable early lead. He scattered eight hits and four earned runs, but struck out six and didn't surrender a walk. He also enjoyed 10 runs in support as the Bucs scored in each of the first six innings.
Centerfielder Bobby Ison helped the Bucs offensive attack, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Kevin Hickey and Alex Tomasovich each added two hits for CSU, which outhit Asheville, 15-11.
Hagaman laced a two-run double into the right-field corner to start the scoring for CSU. The top four in the Bucs order combined for 11 hits and 10 runs.
Shortstop Eli Miller had a big afternoon for the Bulldogs at the plate, going 4-for-5. First baseman Billy Creighton added two hits and two runs scored.
Game 1 – Charleston Southern 8, Asheville 1 Buran carried the Bucs limiting UNCA to five hits in eight innings of work and Hagaman had a three-run double in the first inning as CSU broke the game open early in an 8-1 win.
Buran (WP, 1-5) took a shutout into the eighth and struck out six for his first win of the year.
The Bucs scored four times in the first innings, led by Hagaman's third double of the day and an RBI double from Robbie Streett.
The Bucs added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth, scoring on an Asheville error to build their lead to 7-0. Tomasovich hit a solo home run in the eighth to cap the scoring for CSU.
Hagaman and Tomasovich each had three hits in the win. Hagaman was 7-for-10 on the day with three doubles, two home runs, and seven RBIs. Tomasovich was 5-for-8 and scored five times.
Hickey also had a successful debut as the Bucs' leadoff man on the weekend, going 6-for-14, setting the table for the red-hot bats behind him.
Charleston Southern travels to South Carolina on Tuesday night to face the Gamecocks. First pitch is at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.